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Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
A TRANSFIGURED SON AND AN EMPTY POCKET

[“Glory and Taxes”]
(Key word: “Listen!”)

Matthew 17:1-9 – Transfiguration Vision

|| Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

MT17:1 Now after six days[1] Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John[2] (the brother of James) and ascended with them to a very secluded place on a tall mountain.[3] MT17:2 And right before them Jesus was metamorphosed[4] – his face illuminated like the sun[5] and his cloak as white light.[6] MT17:3 And, look! they could see Moses and Elijah[7] speaking with Jesus. MT17:4 Peter responded and said to Jesus, “Master, if you wish I shall make three tents[8] – one for you and Moses and Elijah.” MT17:5 Yet while Peter was talking, look! a shining cloud rested over them, and, look! a Voice came from the cloud,[9] saying, “This is my beloved Son whom I approve[10] – listen to him.”[11] MT17:6 Now, hearing this the disciples were frightened and fell on their faces. MT17:7 Jesus approached the disciples and touching them, he said, “Rise and do not be afraid.” MT17:8 But, when the disciples looked up they saw nothing but Jesus himself. MT17:9 Now while descending the mountain Jesus charged[12] the three disciples: “Tell no one[13] about the vision[14] until the Son of Humankind[15] is raised from among those dead.”[16]

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[1] After six days: Mark 9:2 agrees though Luke 9:28 says, “But it happened about eight days after…” Some see the transfiguration as the fulfillment of what the Nazarene said earlier (Matthew 16:28). It ought to be observed that there is nothing in the “vision” which speaks of the arrival of Jesus’ kingdom in power.

[2] Peter, James, and John: Are these the primary foundation stones of the Congregation? Note in Mark 13:3 Andrew is added to a select group among the apostles.

[3] A very secluded place on a tall mountain: Or, KJV: into an high mountain apart; KNX: where they were along; LB: a high and lonely hill. Some believe this is that 9,000-foot mountain nearest Caesar Philippi, Mount Hermon.

[4] Jesus was metamorphosed: The Greek is METAMORPHOTHE. Or, KJV: transfigured; RHM: transformed; WMS: his appearance was changed; PME: his whole appearance changed before their eyes. Note a form of the word at Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. According to Luke 9:29 this occurred “as he was praying.”

[5] Face illuminated like the sun: Or KJV: his faced did shine as the sun. Compare Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 1:14. Note, Exodus 34:29: “Moses did not know that the skin of his face emitted rays.” (NW) It is impossible not to include as a cross reference 2 Corinthians 3:7, 10, 15, 18 and the relationship with the “new covenant.”

[6] His cloak as white light: Or, ASV: garment became white as the light; RIEU: white as light itself. Mark 9:3 adds: “… far whiter than any clothes cleaner on earth could whiten them.” (Revelation 1:16)

[7] Moses and Elijah: Some see these two as representing the Law and the Prophets pointing to Messiah. The three are called “prophets.” The three all fast for 40 days. All three hear the Voice of God. All three are associated with the Name of God. All three are involved in the saving acts of God. Compare Malachi 4:4, 5. See notes on Revelation 11:5, 6.

[8] I shall make three tents: We note the spontaneity of Peter. Perhaps he expects these three to remain during the chilly night. He may create an evening bivouac from boughs and limbs of trees.

[9] Voice came from the cloud: This is the second of three cases where the Voice of God is heard, all in the presence of Jesus (Matthew 3:17; John 12:28). Peter gives his own inspired interpretation of this event at 2 Peter 1:16-18. The Voice is “God the Father.” The main point is the revelation of the “power and presence (PAROUSIA)” of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some wish to make this the second coming or that Parousia future from the days of Jesus and the disciples. (Matthew 24:3; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 2:28) Others see the parousia here as that first coming of the Nazarene.

[10] This is my beloved Son whom I approve: These are the words heard by John the Baptist and the Nazarene at his baptism (see notes at Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Peter records the Voice at 2 Peter 1:17. The phrase is similar to a conflate of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. Peter is to quote the context of Psalm 2:7 later at Acts 4:24; and, Paul Psalm 2:7 exactly at Acts 13:33, 34. Both apply Psalm 2 to that period upon the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to heaven as envisioned by Daniel 7:13. It is curious that this is witnessed only by three of the apostles and these are later told not to tell anyone (the other apostles?) of the vision (Matthew 17:9).

[11] Listen to him: Here is the main point of the whole episodic vision: to charge these three apostles to hear or listen in obedience to the Son (Note Hebrews 1:1). Matthew was not present on this occasion so must have learned the details from Peter, James, or John; and this after the resurrection of the Son of Humankind. “Listen” is a word occurring often in the Gospels: Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 18, 43; 15:10; Mark 4:3, 9, 20, 23, 33; 7:14; Luke 8:8, 18; 14:35; John 10:3, 16, 27.

[12] Jesus charged: Or, ASV: commanded; KNX: ward; MOF: ordered.

[13] Tell no one: We may assume this included the other nine apostles. What an awesome charge to confidence – a lesson for many an elder to keep confidentiality. On this matter compare Paul’s own at 2 Corinthians 12:4.

[14] The vision: The appearance of “Moses” and “Elijah” were visionary not the real persons alive. One may ask how these men recognized Moses and Elijah?

[15] Son of Humankind: Search or Find Son of Man or Son of Humankind.

[16] Raised from among those dead: Or, KJV: risen again from the dead; MON: raised from the dead. The dead themselves are not to be raised until, a) the Parousia of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23); and, b) the end of the Thousand Years (1 Corinthians 15:24; Revelation 20:5).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Related

  1. “Listen to Him!”
  2. Matthew 17 – The Mount of Transfiguration
  3. Matthew 17:1-8 The Terrifying Transfiguration
  4. Tip of the Day, September 19 Lessons of the Transfiguration
  5. Monday Motivation: The Revealing of Glory
  6. On a high mountain
  7. On the Mountain
  8. What Happened On The Mountain; Learning Under Jesus
  9. Transfiguration
  10. The Transfiguration
  11. The Transfiguration the Feast of the Transfiguration,
  12. Here We Read About The Wonderful Transfiguration Of Jesus!
  13. The Transfiguration of Our Lord
  14. Divine Glory and Sacrificial Love
  15. God’s Voice is Heard at the Transfiguration
  16. The Glory of Jesus Christ is Revealed at the Transfiguration
  17. They Saw No One but Jesus Only
  18. Does the Father affirm Jesus the Messiah is his Son?
  19. She Reads Truth | Matthew 17 & 18
  20. Transfiguration – Divinization and the Transmigration of Souls
  21. Transfiguring Humanity—Reflections on the Transfiguration of Christ
  22. Moses, Elijah and Jesus (Plus Four) Meet on a Mountain: The Feast of the Transfiguration
  23. The Transfiguration of Christ
  24. The Transfiguration of the Lord
  25. 4. Witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus
  26. Elijah & Elisha
  27. How Not to Be Terrified
  28. Acknowledge the Glory In You
  29. The Disciples’ Response to the Transfiguration

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 12:46-50 – The True Family of Messiah

|| Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21

MT12:46 While still speaking to the crowds, look! his mother[1] and brothers[2] were waiting outside to speak with[3] Jesus. MT12:47 Someone called to Jesus, “Look! Your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” MT12:48 Jesus responded and told this person: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” MT12:49 Now Jesus pointed at his disciples and said: “Look here! My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers.’[4] MT12:50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father[5] – these are my brother and sister[6] and mother.”

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[1] His mother: The mother of our Lord is rare in the Gospels and often unnamed (Matthew 1:18; 13:55; Mark 3:31; Luke 2:48, 51; 8:19; John 2:5, 12; 19:25, 26). Nothing indicates she was a follower or even a believer at this time. She is differentiated from his “disciples.” Jesus even elsewhere infers that he may have not been honored or respected as a prophet even among his own family early on.

[2] Brothers: Jesus has four brothers so named: James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55, 56) The number and names of his sisters are never mentioned. Later, at least one (James) became a power in the Christian Church. See the word James in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians. The epistle of James is attributed to this brother.

[3] Waiting outside to speak with: We never discover the reason. One may speculate but it is useless: family business, a share in his honor. Few sons would have acted in this manner without serious cause. Compare John 7:3, 5.

[4] My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers’: The Nazarene’s real ‘family’ is spiritual and related to him by faith. It is very possible that none of his fleshly family were among his disciples, or following him. Perhaps this is the reason for the terse ignoring of his family. At least twice family members wanted him to perform miracles for their benefit (John 2:1-12; 7:3, 5). It is only the beloved apostle John who brings this out. Hebrews 2:10-13 indicates Jesus Christ and the members of his Church are originating with The God. A point to note is that if Jesus were “God” then his followers would be brothers of God, not sons. William Barclay notes: “It was one of the great human tragedies of Jesus’ life that during his lifetime, his nearest and dearest never understood him.… When Jesus set out on his public mission, his friends tried to restrain him, for they said he was mad (Mark 3:21). He seemed to them to be busily engaged in throwing his life away in a kind of sanity.… ‘A Christian’s only relatives,’ said one of the early martyrs, ‘are the saints.’” (page 52)

[5] Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father: The word “will” is from the Greek THELMA and may be rendered determination, choice, desire or wish. What is the “will of the Father”? Surely this is connected to His “eternal purpose”? Jesus uses the phrase twice in Matthew. See notes on Matthew 7:21. Only in John 6:40 is the How of doing the will of the Father explained: “For this is the will of my Father: Everyone who observes the Son and deeply believes in him will have everlasting life.” This is put another way in another context when some ask Jesus what the work of God is so that they may do it. The Nazarene responds: “This is the work of The God that you deeply believe in the One He sent forth.” (John 6:29) Faith or conviction is right at the center of the Father’s will. This belief or faith surely involves a knowledge of the Messiah’s teachings or “doctrine.” (John 7:17 KJV)

“The will of God” is discussed by Paul, Peter, and John. How the Church is involved in His will: to serve for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:9-13). God’s will is something to continually comprehend: be careful how one walks in the world (Ephesians 5:15-20). God’s will includes His sanctification which requires abstaining from fornication, illicit passions, and adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Prayer and thankfulness are part of God’s will (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God’s will includes doing God and loving the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:15-17). God’s will may include suffering (1 Peter 4:19). There are three things that are not part of God’s will: fleshly desire, covetousness, and bragging about materialism (1 John 2:15-17). Perhaps God’s will is best summarized by His commandment: to have faith in His Son; and, love one another (1 John 3:23).

[6] Sister: Jesus has been silent on female followers until now. Though no woman is ever called a disciple in the Gospels, there were women who were “with” Jesus’ entourage of disciples. These “ministered to Jesus and his disciples from their belongings.” (Luke 8:2, 3) The truth is the Nazarene had spiritual ‘sisters’. In time, throughout the Gospel Age of the Church female disciples of Jesus out number the men. In the New Creation – the Seed of Abraham – there are no females – nor males – for all are “sons” and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).

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Preceding

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Gates to different belief systems in this world

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  3. When we think of Jesus let us strive to realise what he means to us
  4. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  5. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  7. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  10. Salvation and Righteousness
  11. Receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

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Related

  1. On Religion and Reasons: Why Fast for Lent?
  2. Some thoughts on Lent
  3. My Daily Devotion – My Quiet Time With God
  4. Use what you have
  5. Don’t worry about it.
  6. God’s Children
  7. The children of God
  8. Bestowed Upon Us…
  9. What Makes You a Child and Heir of God?
  10. Sons of God

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